Just an interesting note from a Crown Castle presentation to a Lehman Brothers conference:
Wireless capital expenditures for the years from 2007-2010 are expected to remain relatively flat at $28 Billion in 2007, $27 Billion in 2008, $27 Billion in 2009, and $27 Billion again in 2010.
What may not be as obvious in these estimates which Crown credits to Goldman Sachs research is that there will likely be a fluctuation in where this deployment capital comes from. Historically, the lion’s share has come from the Big 4- AT&T Mobility, Verizon, Sprint-Nextel, and T-Mobile. That will still continue, but with larger contributions from MetroPCS and Leap Wireless as they expand their networks into new areas with the Advanced Wireless Services spectrum they acquired in 2006.
Simultaneously, mobile penetration is expected to grow from 2006 to 2010 from 72% of the population to 87% of the population. Estimated annual wireless minutes of use (MOU) for the Big 4 wireless carriers jump from 1,797 BILLION minutes to 3,658 Billion minutes in 2010. In essence, while the number of subscribers will only increase 21% during that time, the number of minutes we use will increase by over 103%. (Crown cites TIA Pulse Online and CTIA)